9:00 PM ET, January 24, 2009
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
LeBron flirts with triple-double as Cavs finish West-Coast swing 3-1
SALT LAKE CITY -- After beating the buzzer to give Cleveland a win the night before, LeBron James enjoyed a much less dramatic finish Saturday.
The result was the same: The Cavaliers won again and still had the best record in the NBA.
• After losing to the Lakers in Los Angeles, the Cavs rallied to win the final three games of their four-game west road trip.
• Cleveland has won eight of its last 10 games against Utah, improving to 14-2 vs. the Western Conference this season.
• LeBron James finished with 33 points, 14 rebounds, and was one assist shy of his third triple-double this month. It's the third time in the last six games James has pulled down at least 14 rebounds.
• The Jazz snapped a seven-game home streak, falling to 17-5 at EnergySolutions Arena this season.
-- ESPN research
James scored 33 points, pulled down 14 rebounds and was just one assist short of a triple-double while leading Cleveland to a 102-97 win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.
Mo Williams added 25 points and four assists, including three alley-oops to James, as the Cavs closed out a four-game road trip with their third straight win.
"We came in with the mind-set to close out the road trip the right way and we did that," said James, who finished 14-for-27 from the field with his usual array of dazzling dunks.
Deron Williams had a season-high 16 assists and scored 17 points for Utah, which had won seven straight at home.
Paul Millsap finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds, but the Jazz could not keep up with the Cavs at the end despite Cleveland's late night Friday in a 106-105 win at Golden State on James' 19-foot jumper just before time expired. On Saturday, all James had to do in the final seconds was dribble out the clock after Cleveland held off Utah's final push.
The Jazz missed two 3-pointers that could have tied it in the final minute and another 3 after Cleveland had gone up by five points.
"We were right there. We had chances. We just didn't come up with the win," Deron Williams said.
Williams tied it at 91 with a layup for Utah, then Mo Williams answered with a three-point play to start an 11-6 run for Cleveland over the last 2:41. Sasha Pavlovic scored 13 and grabbed a crucial defensive rebound as Utah tried to rally one more time.
Mo Williams was 5-for-11 from 3-point range and Pavlovic finished 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
James had just two points during Cleveland's closing run as Williams and Pavlovic handled most of the scoring.
"To go down the stretch when LeBron was having the type of game we has having, to put the ball in someone else's hands is just a testament to the kind of group we have in there," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said.
There were 10 lead changes, but none for Utah after Kyle Korver's 20-foot jumper put the Jazz up 89-88 with 5:15 left to play.
Cleveland led 81-73 after the third quarter, but the Jazz responded with a 12-0 run early in the fourth. Kosta Koufos made a layup, Korver hit a jumper and then Mehmet Okur converted a three-point play to get the Jazz within 83-80 with 9:27. Harpring made a layup on an assist from Okur to cut the lead to a point, then Korver hit a 3-pointer to put Utah up 85-83 with 8:23 left.
Mo Williams made a 3-pointer to give the lead back to Cleveland as Deron Williams was down on the court after getting knocked down from behind by Ben Wallace. Williams was helped to the locker room, but was back in a few minutes later.
James also got banged up. Kyrylo Fesenko caught him with a forearm to the face as James made a dunk. Then on another slam, Matt Harpring's hand dragged across James' face late in the second quarter. James quickly turned around and had some words for Harpring before the two were separated.
"That happens every game ... and I ain't missed a game yet," James said.
The third quarter went back-and-forth without much defense, starting with Mo Williams' half-court alley-oop to James to tie the game at 49. Williams set up James for another dunk during a 2-on-1 that put Cleveland up 70-61.
"It's good to finally have that lob guy that can get it to wherever," James said. "It's definitely fun when I can just go up and get it."
Utah has lost five at home, one more than last season's total. ... Mo Williams and Pavlovic were both drafted by Utah in 2003. ... Varejao made his first five shots. ... Okur got in early foul trouble and finished with four points and three rebounds. ... Utah F Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) missed his second straight game. ... Former Cav Carlos Boozer (knee surgery) missed his 32nd straight game for Utah.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||40-79 (.506)||40-84 (.476)|
|3PM-3PA||10-27 (.370)||3-14 (.214)|
|FTM-FTA||12-20 (.600)||14-21 (.667)|
|Fast Break Points||11||14|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (2/0)||19 (2/0)|